MDS Pharma Services issued the follow media statement, from David Spaight, President – MDS Pharma Services:

Today, our parent company, MDS Inc., announced the completion of the divestiture of the remaining MDS Pharma Services (Discovery through Phase IIa) operations. Ricerca Biosciences LLC, a leading provider of early-stage contract research organization (CRO) services, has acquired our Discovery & Preclinical operations in Bothell, Washington; Lyon, France; and Taipei, Taiwan. Ricerca CEO Ian Lennox will lead the combined organization.

A new corporation primarily owned by the private investment firms Bain Capital Ventures and SV Life Sciences has acquired our Development & Regulatory Services consultancy team and five Early Stage Development facilities: Belfast, Northern Ireland (UK); Lincoln, Nebraska (US); Neptune, New Jersey (US); Phoenix, Arizona (US); and Zurich, Switzerland.  Susan Thornton, PhD, will lead the new company funded by Bain Capital Ventures and SV Life Sciences.

Bain Capital Ventures and SV Life Sciences have long and successful track records of building market –leading companies in healthcare and the life sciences sector.  Ricerca and the new Corporation intend to provide our clients with a continuing source of the industry-leading drug discovery and early-stage development solutions they are accustomed to receiving from MDS Pharma Services.

The skills and quality of our people and our state-of-the-art facilities and systems provide a strong foundation for future growth under new ownership.

The transaction does not include two MDS Pharma Services locations:
- The executive office in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, will be closed. 
- The early clinical research and bioanalysis operations in Montreal, Quebec, will be decommissioned over the course of this year, with site closure in early 2011. The decision to close the site was made in order to better align capacity with client demand in response to ongoing softness in the early stage market.  Approximately 225 jobs, mostly in Montreal, will be eliminated as a result of the site closure.

About 40 members of the Clinical Pharmacology and Development & Regulatory Services teams in Montreal have become part of the new corporation as home-based employees. 

Up to another 50 positions at other MDS Pharma Services locations are expected to be eliminated as a result of the sale of MDS Pharma Services. We are grateful for the service of our departing colleagues, wish them well, and will support them with career transition assistance.

I'm grateful for the privilege of leading this organization for the past four years and getting to know so many talented professionals.  I’d like to thank them for their many contributions over the years and for the professionalism and focus they exhibited as we navigated the final leg of our journey together.

Date: March 8, 2010
Source: MDS Pharma Services